Strike with stick


For this task, you’ll need:

  • Tennis ball (or similar)
  • Baseball bat (or similar)
  • Baseball tee (adjustable height)


“I want you to strike the ball. I want you to strike the ball as best you can. Please try to strike the ball as best you can. Ready? Strike now.” 

young girl swinging a baseball bat

Rating System



Presence of numerous major gaps in execution

  • Grasp of implement inappropriate (cross-over hands, uses a single limb to swing, etc.)
  • No coordination between upper and lower body
  • No weight shift
  • Swinging action is weak and trajectory of implement wavers
  • Limited wind-up and follow-through


Limited number of major gaps, but able to execute basic sequencing of the task

  • Elements of the swinging action present but not all the sequences of weight transfer, trunk rotation and arm swing are evident
  • Dominance of one arm relative to the other
  • Upper limbs don’t work together



     Basic level of execution with minor     sequencing errors

  • Swinging action evident with good speed
  • Limited weight transfer
  • Wind-up and follow-through limited but present
  • Sequencing of weight transfer, to trunk rotation, to arm swing is present but may be modest and slightly disjointed


     Overall proficiency is depicted by the quality of the movements

  •  Powerful swinging action with good speed of implement
  • Strong stepping action and weight transfer from trailing to leading leg
  • Synchronized and sequenced weight transfer, to trunk rotation, to upper limb rotation
  • Implement trajectory is well controlled with excellent wind-up and follow-through


Assessment Example

Max played professional lacrosse for years. Now that he's retired, he coaches and runs clinics and camps for kids. Part of his philosophy is for kids to be comfortable and capable of performing other sports skills aside from just those that relate to lacrosse. Max understands that this is all part of being physically literate, which he tries his best to develop in each of his practices.

Twelve-year-old Laura hasn't played too many sports, so her parents decide to register her for private lessons with Max. She runs and swims and loves to hike, but hasn't done much in the way of team stuff. She thinks lacrosse looks like fun. Max understands that from her other physical activities, Laura will be competent in a range of fundamental skills. Since lacrosse requires the hand-eye coordination that comes from using a stick, Max decides to have Laura strike with a stick.

Laura has a good grasp of the bat when she picks it up and swings it, but Max can see this is an unfamiliar technique for her. Although there is some weight shift from her back leg to the front, her trunk doesn't rotate much and her motion is almost entirely in her arms. She leans forward as she swings as opposed to rotating through the action.

Despite Laura's obvious gaps in development, neither arm seems to dominate the other, and she displays coordination between her upper limbs – likely developed during swimming, Max figures. He places a mark not quite at the halfway mark of “Emerging”.